Long Eid break in UAE: 8 hidden gems to explore during the holidays

Khaleej Times caught up with few travel enthusiasts and explorers to list their favourite getaways in the country



By Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Thu 28 Apr 2022, 3:09 PM

Last updated: Sun 10 Jul 2022, 9:56 PM

With the long Eid break right around the corner, many residents in the UAE are opting to stay in the country and explore the natural beauty of the Emirates.

Khaleej Times caught up with four UAE-based adventurers and asked them to list their favourite hidden gems.

Instagrammer Vipin Sumithran (Insta: @the_.explorer_ ) is a forex and crypto professional living in the UAE for over five years. The travel enthusiast, who loves to explore solo, is on a mission to hunt down the best-hidden gems in the country. His top two picks are:

Vipin Sumithran
Vipin Sumithran

Rainbow Mountains/Spectrum hike in Fujairah: This relatively medium-level difficult hiking trail leads to the very vibrant and colourful mountain - almost pink. With the mountain rocks baring the many layers, the breathtaking landscape, and the rainbow façade is easily one of the most natural Instagrammable spots in the country. Located in Wadi Ghub in Fujairah, one can drive to the spot with a sedan or 4X4.

Jazirat Badiyah, Fujairah: An island near Al Badiyah and Zubara in Fujairah, Jazirat Badiyah is an amazing spot to catch sunrise or sunset. Located close to Jabal Masah, the island's terrain rises to 61 meters. It can be accessed only with a 4X4. Those with a sedan can park the car and walk to the island peak.

Belgian national Nathalie Delande is the founder of the popular Facebook group Off The Beaten Track (Insta: @offthebeatentrack).

A resident in the UAE since 2012, Nathalie, with her husband and two teenage daughters, began exploring the country during the pandemic. Hoping to get tips and more interesting information, she started the Facebook group, which has massed 26.6K members. Her favourite hidden gems are:

Nathalie Delande
Nathalie Delande

Kayaking, Mangroves Ajman: This activity is peaceful and close to nature. The tour operators are strictly regulated, so there are no unnecessary crowds.

It is a great way to enjoy the beautiful mangroves while spotting birds, flamingoes and other wildlife in their most natural setting. There are morning and afternoon tours which lasts about 2 hours, and visitors can opt for single or double kayaks. It is priced at Dh175 for adults and 135 for children.

Picnic at Sunrise Beach: This is a firm favourite, especially if you are looking for something relaxed and fun to do with the family. We pack a picnic basket and set off to Sunrise Beach, situated very close to the Dubai Ladies Club, to catch the sunrise. You get an unrivalled view of the Dubai skyline and some breathtaking views. If you are lucky, a light, refreshing breeze will blow around.

A seasoned off-roader, Anish Mathews (Insta: @anishmathews) is most at home behind the wheel of his beloved pickup truck, exploring little-known and far-flung terrains. His top picks are:

Anish Mathews.
Anish Mathews.

Drive to Baqal, and Yanas Mountain, Ras Al Khaimah: Situated approximately 123 kilometres away from Dubai, the most exhilarating part of this drive is the winding climb to the mountain's peak. It takes around 45 minutes to get to the peak from the base. Accessible by 4X4s and SUVs, this drive offers breathtaking views and great camping options. The location on Google Maps will take the driver to the very tip of the mountain

Video credit Binoi Mathews @binoim

Snoopy Island, Fujeirah: Jazīrat al Ghubbah or Snoopy Island is located off the northern coast of Fujairah on the Gulf of Oman and is approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Dubai. Visitors can hop on a boat from the beach to ride to the island. Other activities like snorkelling, kayaking and water sports are also available in and around the island. Those who want can also stay the night there.

File
File

Dubai-based Mehnaz Rafeeque (Insta: @the.hijabi.explorer) is a mother of 2 and began exploring after getting married to her adrenaline-junkie husband. Along with her family, she spends most of her weekends driving aimlessly, looking for hidden gems and camping spots. Her picks are:

Mehnaz Rafeeque
Mehnaz Rafeeque

Al Taiba Heritage Museum, Fujeirah: The museum, heritage village and farm has several articles of cultural importance and is a great place to tour with the family. With free entry, lots of greenery and a picturesque view of the mountains, it offers options for a staycation or a day trip. It is located on the Masafi-Dibba road and is a 1.5 hour's drive from Dubai. On the way, there is a good market for antiques and knick-knacks on both sides of the road.

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Khasab, Oman: This is a great family getaway. Visitors can get on a boat ride that will take them around Telegram Island, and if they are lucky, they can spot some dolphins. Apart from the tour operators, there are private boats owned by fishermen who can take visitors as well. There are options to do snorkelling and diving as well. This can either be a day trip or a staycation

nasreen@khaleejtimes.com


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